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Cannabis Referendum fails to obtain requisite signatures

December 3, 2020

On September 16, 2020, the City of Pacific Grove City Council adopted Ordinance No. 20-022 to create a licensing process to allow a single storefront cannabis dispensary (which can sell adult and medicinal cannabis products) within the City.  Due to a Citizen Referendum Petition, all license application review and selection activities by the City were held in abeyance until the referendum was resolved.  On October 29, 2020, the Citizen’s Referendum Against Ordinance 20-022, which contained 42 Sections and 1,147 signatures, was filed with the City and transferred to the Monterey County Elections Department for signature verification (pursuant to Elections Code Sections 9114-9115). 

On November 24, 2020, the Elections Department determined the number of valid signatures on the petition was 1,066 signatures (81 signatures, including 13 as duplicate signatures were not counted).  The minimum number of signatures required for a referendum to be deemed valid is 1,069 (Elections Code Section 9215). 

The tabulation of signatures is not yet final.  The petition proponent has lodged a request to examine the petition in accord with Government Code Section 6235.5.  This review process allows a final examination of the signatures to begin within 21 days of the certification.